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August 6, 1886.] 



SCIENCE. 



123 



to be somewhere in the bight of sea between 
Gape Barnegat and Fire Island light. 

---Dr. Rufus Haymond, a well-known student 
of vertebrate zoology, and one of the pioneer 
naturalists of the Ohio valley, died at Brookville, 
Ind,, July 29, at the age of 81 years. He was a 
native of Virginia, and came to Indiana in 1836. 

— Mr. B. W. Evermann, late of Indiana uni- 
versity, has been elected to the chair of natural 
sciences at the State normal school, Terre Haute, 
Ind. 

— Mr. George H. Boehmer of the Smithsonian 
institution leaves Washington during the present 
month on a European mission, as agent for the 
library of congress and the Smithsonian, in per- 
fecting a more systematic and satisfactory method 
for the international exchange of public docu- 
ments published by each country. 

— Mr. Nathanel H. R. Dawson of Selma, Ala- 
bama, has been nominated by the President for 
the position of commissioner of education. 

— Rev. Charles Henry Appleton Dall, father of 
Dr. Wm. H. Dall, the conchologist, died at 
Darjiling, India, on July 18. He had been for 
more than thirty years in the missionary service. 

— Spirits of turpentine will remove unpleasant 
odors from the hands when all other deodorants 
fail. 



LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. 

*** Correspondents are requested to be as brief as possible. The 
writer's name is in all cases required as proof of good faith. 

Feline telepathy. 

In the issue of your admirable journal for July 31, 
1885, the then editor, my esteemed friend Prof. S. H. 
Scudder, a distinguished histologist of special emin- 
ence in entomology, does me the honor to notice my 
censorship of the American society for psychical re- 
search, and passes the compliment of calling me ' the 
well-known ghost-smeller,' perhaps with some ' oc- 
cult ' reference to my psychical researches. 

Neither affirming nor denying this hard impeach- 
ment, I beg to cite Professor Scudder himself in con- 
nection with the interesting and instructive psychic 
researches now in progress concerning telepathy. 
I submit that the eminent entomologist is in his own 
person a demonstration of telepathy ; and no false 
delicacy should make him shrink from offering him- 
self as a good subject for telepathic experimentation 
on the part of the members of the American society 
for psychical research. 

No one more than myself, among Professor Scud- 
der's friends, sincerely deplores the painful affection 
of the respiratory passages from which he suffers 
when brought within a certain radius of a cat. It 
may be some mental consolation, if no alleviation of 
the difficulty of breathing, for the professor to reflect 
that his case is an interesting and valuable one for 



the purposes of psychic research, since it is able 
thus to offer an important contribution to the science 
of telepathy. 

If I am correctly informed, Professor Scudder does 
not require to see the cat, or hear the cat, or smell the 
cat, or taste the cat, or touch the cat, in order to be- 
come painfully alive to the proximity of the animal, 
in the way above said. None of his physical senses is 
concerned in the psvchic cognition of the cat and its 
painful bodily result. This is telepathy, namely, 
thought-transfer without any known or recognized 
physical or mechanical means of communication. 
Professor Scudder is evidently telepathic with cats, 
as a psychist would express it. What subtile con- 
nection there is between the anthropoid and the 
aeluroid organisms in this case, resulting in such vio- 
lent antipathy and respiratory derangement on the 
one hand and such complacent sympathy or entire 
apathy on the other, is hard to say : though it may 
be suggested that asthmatic breathing resembles 
purring in some audible respects. Whether any real 
mind-reading is here involved is doubtful, because 
it is impossible to say what cats think of Professor 
Scudder ; though what this amiable gentleman thinks 
of cats, while under the shock of the feline tele- 
pathic impact, and also subsequently, is well known 
to the large circle of his friends. 

When I was appointed by the Theosophical so- 
ciety its official censor of the American society for 
psychical research — a delicate and difficult office, 
which I reluctantly accepted about a year ago in the 
interests of psychic science — it became incumbent 
upon me to explain to the psychical society any fact 
in psychic science which they might succeed in 
establishing. 

I cannot admit that the said society has established 
this case of telepathy, considering that I have been 
obliged to do so for them. But since one of their 
members has been the unwitting means of demon- 
strating feline telepathy, I pass the credit of the dis- 
covery over to the psychical society, with the com- 
pliments of tho Theosophical society, and offer my 
explanation of the matter. It is the same ' Explana- 
tion of telepathy ' which was printed in the New 
York Nation of Jan. 15, 1885, after Professor Scud- 
der, with tender regard for my reputation as a 
scientist, had declined to publish it in Science, of 
which he was then editor. 

All animals, plants, and minerals disengage from 
their bodies a substance variously called ' biogen,' 
'od,' ' akasa,' etc., this aura or ultra sensible emana- 
tion having certain modes of motion which are the 
direct means of ' phenomenalizing ' or making ap- 
parent to the natural senses those effects known as 
' mesmeric,' ' magnetic,' ' nervauric,' ' telepathic,' 
' spiritistic,' etc. Professor Scudder happens to be 
so constituted, in relation to eats, that the feline 
biogen, impinging upon the Scudderian, immediately 
makes him think of cats, transfers his thought from 
all other objects of interest to cats, fixes his mind 
upon cats, excites a violent ' psychic storm.' or 
emotional disturbance, and results in the painful 
physical derangement above noted. 

It would interest any student of psychics to ascer- 
tain whether the eminent entomologist who furnishes 
this case does not suffer in much the same way from 
various other animals, as horses and cows. I venture 
to surmise that such will be found to be the case. 

Any other explanation than I have given does not 
occur to me as probable. A physicist or biologist, 



124 



SCIENCE. 



[Vol. VIII., No. 183 



however, might base an opinion contrary to mine, 
on the ground of common zoological ancestry, 
heredity, atavism, and so forth, according to the gen- 
eral principles of evolution. 

Not even a ' well known ghost-smeller ' should re- 
tort by calling Professor Scudder a hitherto un- 
known ' cat smeller,' because that would not be 
polite, and because the learned professor does not 
smell cats, in point of fact, when he enters into 
telepathic relations with these zoological organisms. 
And then, too, his apparent inability to become cog- 
nizant of unemlodied human intelligences by 
means of telepathy mav be more a matter of neces- 
sity than of choice. Should he ever succeed in 
establishing telepathic relations with a ghost, let us 
trust he will find such method of communication less 
painful to his respiratory apparatus, and more con- 
ducive to his peace of mind. 

Elliott Coubs, F. T. S., 

Censor A. S. P. R. 
Washington, D.C. 



Barometer exposure. 

In President LeConte's last letter (Science, vol. 
viii. p. 80) he suggests that the effects of the wind 
on the barometer should be farther experimented on ; 
since " it is evident, that, according to the conditions 
of exposure, the influence of the wind must tend 
sometimes to increase, and at other times to dimin- 
ish, the pressure within the building in which the 
barometer is placed." Mr. Gilbert's and Mr. Todd's 
experiments (Science, vol. vii. p. 571, and vol. viii. 
p. 58) certainly indicate that the pressure is higher 
on the windward than on the leeward side of 
objects ; and I have frequently found at Blue Hill 
observatory, that, if a window or door be opened on 
the side against which a strong wind is blowing, 
there will be a rise of the barometer in the building, 
and a fall again when the window is closed. 

This does not prove, however, that the effect of 
the wind on an in-door barometer is as likely to make 
it read too high as too low. Both deduction from 
theory and induction from all of the facts so far 
gathered, I think, indicate, that, under all ordinary 
conditions, the effect of the wind must be to make 
an in-door barometer read too low. The experiments 
of physicists clearly demonstrate that air, in moving 
by at right angles to an aperture, lowers the pressure 
within ; hence, while wind would tend to increase 
the pressure on the windward side of a building, on 
every other side and at the top of the building the 
tendency must be to reduce the pressure ; and the 
total resultant must be a decided lowering of the 
pressure within the building during a strong wind. 
These points were only omitted from my first letter 
because I was desirous of being brief. 

The effect of wind in lowering the pressure is 
probably strongly felt on board of ships, where the 
bottom and sides are tight, and the wind blows di- 
rectly across the apertures at the top. This, perhaps, 
in part accounts for the very low readings sometimes 
reported in severe storms. 

In his 19th paper (Amer. journ. sc, Dec, 1883), 
Loomis makes a careful comparison between the 
observed gradients in severe storms and those com- 
puted by Ferrel's formula. The storms were those 
occurring on the Atlantic Ocean and in the United 
States • and comparisons were made on that side of 
the storms wheie the winds were strongest and 



gradients steepest. He found that the observed 
gradients were always larger than the computed 
gradients, and the latter had to be increased by a 
a suitable constant to equal the former. In t'nese 
cases, might not the observed gradients have been 
only apparent, and partly due to erroneous readings 
of the barometer produced by a greater wind velo>city 
near the centre of the storm ? 

H. Helm Clayton. 
B]ue Hill meteor, obser., July 26. 



The swindling naturalist caught. 

The geological swindler described in Science, p. 
308, No. 165 (April 2, 1886), has finally been en- 
trapped and captured here, and is now in jail at 
Kankakee, Illinois, for the sale of books which he 
borrowed from a gentleman in that town. 

He passed here as 'Captain Lindley ' of the TJ. S. 
army, detailed as ' instructor in geology ' at West 
Point. I need not say that there is no such name in 
the Army register nor on the roster of instructors 
at the military academy. 

As he will undoubtedly be sentenced for at least a 
term in jail, it is much to be desired that those who 
have heretofore been swindled by him may com- 
municate promptly with the sheriff of Kankakee 
county. If he is not vigorously prosecuted, it will 
soon become necessary for the naturalist to carry a 
passport in travelling through this region. 

S. A. Forbes. 
Champaign, III. , July 28. 

A brilliant aurora. 

At 9 p.m. on July 27, an arch of an aurora was 
noticed here through the clouds in the north east. 
At 10.45 P.M. the sky was clear and a brilliant 
auroral arch stretched entirely across the northern 
sky with a height above the horizon of 15° or 20° 
and a width of about 5°. Beneath it the sky was 
very dark ; but from its top stretched upward to 
within about 30° of the zenith the most brilliant 
streamers, which danced and flickered, and during 
the ten minutes preceding 11 p.m. showed beautiful 
colors at their base. At 11.10 p.m. the arch had be- 
come dimmer, and the streamers had developed into 
patches of light which stretched up still nearer the 
zenith. At this time waves or pulses of light shot 
upward from the north in rapid succession and 
moved with great rapidity. These continued, but 
the auroral arch gradually died away, and at 11.20 
p.m. only patches of white light were visible, which 
covered about three-fourths of the northern sky. At 
11.27 p.M.a large patch of white lightin the north-east 
began visibly to move upward toward the zenith, 
and the patches on all sides began to extend in the 
same direction ; so that by 11.30 p.m. the whole 
northern half of the sky was covered with patches 
of pulsating light. At 11.32 p.m. the patches ex- 
tended eight or ten degrees beyond the zenith, and 
the magnetic zenith became apparent by the arrange- 
ment of the patches around it. After 11.35 p.m. the 
aurora began to die down, and by midnight only a 
whitish glow was visible in the north. At 2 a.m. of 
the 28th the conditions remained much the same as 
at midnight. 

A number of meteors were seen in the north-east 
while watching the aurora. 

H. Helm Clayton. 
Blue Hill meteor, observ., July 28.